ASHEVILLE, N.C. (BP) — The Boy Scouts of America said Wednesday (Dec. 12) it was exploring all options amid serious financial woes but would not confirm or deny it might apply for bankruptcy.
The Wall Street Journal, citing anonymous sources, reported late Tuesday that the organization had hired a law firm to assist in a possible Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh described the report as “news speculation” but said the group was “working with experts to explore all options available” in the face of declining membership and sex-abuse litigation.
Current youth membership in the Boy Scouts is reportedly about 2.3 million, down from 2.6 million in 2013 and more than 4 million in peak years of the past. Participation was already shrinking when the Boy Scouts decided in 2013 to allow homosexual members.
In following years, the group opened membership to homosexual leaders and girls who identify as boys. Now it is moving to include girls in all of its programs, a decision that spawned a trademark infringement lawsuit from the Girl Scouts of the USA.